Socio Economic Impact of Craft within Farnham and the Surrey Hills
Launched in November 2020, this report reveals how important crafts can be to the local economy and suggests a crafts-based model for localised economic growth and social wellbeing in a post-pandemic landscape. Commissioned earlier this year by the Crafts Study Centre at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), the report focuses on Farnham and the surrounding Surrey Hills area, one of the UK’s most vibrant areas for craft.
This year, Farham became the first World Craft City on the UK mainland. This recognition cements Farnham’s position as a leading centre for makers as well as the academic study of craft at the Crafts Study Centre, under its director Simon Olding. The report keenly emphasises the potential for crafts to deliver even more growth in this region, and at all levels.
A closer look at this burgeoning local craft sector reveals that 95% of local makers sell directly from their studios, with many also doing business online. One in ten makers already make 100% of sales online and this number is growing. As well as this network of local makers, there are local galleries, centres for craft, open studios and other physical events where the public can experience craft and purchase products.
The report undertaken by Parker Harris recommends that more support is given to local makers and craft centres so they can achieve their potential in terms of sharing information with a wider audience, including e-commerce. Many makers have an arts education background and have had to add digital marketing and managing online sales to their skillset.
The research estimates that the value of craft to Farnham and the surrounding area is already £50+ million and encourages local agencies and stakeholders, such as Farnham Town Council and Surrey County Council, to recognise craft’s latent economic potential and invest in it to deliver much-needed growth and employment throughout the 2020s.
View and download the report: Socio Economic Impact of Craft within Farnham and the Surrey Hills